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How do you organise collaborative work in an Open Innovation network? In our recent member meeting, Tiberius Brastaviceanu – core coordinator of the Sensorica Open Value Network – provided insights into the Network Resource Planning that Sensorica applies.
Using the example of Sensorica’s ongoing high impact project “Plant Protein Extractor / Greens for Good“, an Open Enterprise to make humanity more resilient in the face of food supply catastrophes, Tiberius Brastaviceanu explained how they started out formalising the project, setting up the web page, creating the initial planning, the governance structure and work packages. The work environment for each work package consists of an online document, openly accessable to everyone.
Through the dashboard on the project’s webpage everyone can see what is being done in this particular Open Enterprise and all collaborators can log their contributions after having joined the project. The Section “Budget and Burning” shows how much of the funds are being used in each of the work packages.
The dashboard further shows all the collaborators, their roles, logged and recorded hours of work as well as to what ratio $/hour per role they are rewarded financially. Since they are collaborative, processes and roles cannot be monopolized by any contributor. If the total burning in a process surpasses the budget allocated for that same process, contributors share the total budget in proportion to everyone’s contribution. In the Sensorica Open Value Network this is called relative distribution. If the total burning is lower than the total budget everyone gets paid at the $/hour rate, based on the time logged per role. Sensorican call this an absolute distribution.
Rather than just Open Hardware projects, the Sensorica Open Value Network pursues each project as an Open Enterprise. As such, their projects are concerned with putting in place an ecosystem and economic foundation for the distributed manufacturing of Open Hardware, its maintenance as well as its recycling eventually.
Take the “Plant Protein Extractor / Greens for Good” project, that has received first funding through academia and is actively seeking further funding opportunities. Professor Joshua Pearce says in our preceding interview: “The project can use additional support to make refined prototypes and begin testing, as well as scaling up and manufacturing. We are always looking for collaborators at every stage of development. In addition, we can use industrial support even if it is ‘in kind’ to leverage government funding. We would be particularly interested in partners wishing to commercialize the device for their regions and countries.”
In our member meeting at ProofingFuture.EU, Tiberius Brastaviceanu explained: “If you look at the extruder design pattern, it is a bit like the tractor in agriculture, where you can attach an array of tools to perform various tasks. This extruder would be the work horse of food processing. We chose the extruder architecture, since it is a modular design and can be adapted easily. For example, villagers can use it to grind corn, extract protein from leaves and oil from seeds.”
“Our approach is, to do what 3D printer did to fabrication. We do that to food processing. 3d printers have been open sourced a couple of years ago. Their price has dropped considerably. Food processing extruders for plant protein extraction go for hundreds of thousand of dollars, up to a million each. These are very expensive machines. If we apply the same methodology – Open Source and Do-It-Yourself – that happened to 3D printing, we think we can drop the costs of the extruder by a factor of hundred and put it into the hands of villagers in the developing world,” Tiberius Brastaviceanu.